Bicycling is a great, environmentally friendly way to get around town, but, let's face it, sometimes pedaling sucks. E-bikes are a wonderful compromise, especially for those uphill climbs, offering a bit of electronic assistance when you need it. Combine that with smart technology, a rear-view camera and gears that shift on their own, and you've got quite the two-wheel package. Build that all onto a sexy carbon fiber frame, and suddenly that four-wheeled hunk of metal sitting in your driveway seems like it's just taking up space.
Visiobike is a new, high-tech, electric bicycle from a company in Croatia. It comes with either a 250-watt electric motor good for 16 miles per hour, or a 500-watt motor capable of 28 miles per hour. It also offers an optional rear-view camera and a continuously variable shifter or an automatic gearbox capable of adjusting itself every 10 milliseconds. Its Panasonic lithium-ion battery charges completely in three hours, and has a range of up to 74 miles. The total package weighs 46 pounds, which is a bit much to lug up and down stairs, but that's a small sacrifice for the effort saved while riding.
The coolest part about the Visiobike, though, is how smart it is. It connects to your iPhone or Android via Bluetooth, turning your smartphone into a virtual dashboard. It can show you what's behind you on your HD rear-view camera, display your speed or help you navigate to where you need to go. It senses if you've been in an accident, and will automatically call for help unless you let the app know you're okay within 60 seconds. It even records the last three minutes of your ride as evidence. Also, Visiobike stores your ride data in the cloud for you to analyze at your convenience.
Visiobike's electronics only work when you enter your personal unlock code, making it less of a target for theft. It features automatic locking hardware on the rear wheel, as well as a motion sensor to let you know if someone messes with your bike while you're away. In the event that it's stolen, you can track Visiobike via GPS.
All this doesn't come cheap, though. Visiobike is currently available on Indiegogo starting at €3,900 (about $5,300 US) for the basic bike with the 250-watt motor. Depending on your gearbox upgrades, motor and whether you choose the Visiocam, you could spend up to €4,950 (about $6,730) for the top-spec bike. For €20,000 (about $27,200) you can get two full-kit Visiobikes, plus a seven-day seaside vacation for two to Croatia to tour the factory with Visiobike CEO Marko Matenda. The struggling Indiegogo campaign ends on July 7.
For more information, see the video below, check Visiobike's Indiegogo campaign, or read a hands-on review of the e-bike at Mashable.